Burn calories whilst watching TV

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

Tossing up between watching your favourite TV show and fitting in a quick workout can be a tough one if you’re time poor. It’s so easy to say to yourself “I’ll watch TV tonight, and exercise tomorrow”.  You begin to fall into a cycle of watching TV and neglecting exercise, letting your fitness slip between the cracks. Does this sound all too familiar? Well, here’s the good news- you can do both! Life is all about balance, and whilst it requires a little multi-tasking, you can definitely do exercise whilst watching your favourite show. It’s a win-win, right? You can even get your whole family involved and turn it into a fun activity.

Do the TV game

Before the show (or movie) begins, sort out your exercise criteria. Pick something from the show that is likely to occur often, such as seeing someone with a drink or hearing a particular word. You could choose three or four words or objects and allocate a particular exercise to each of these. As soon as you see the object or hear the word, you must do 10 repetitions of the allocated exercise (or 30 seconds depending on the type of exercise). For example, if you see someone with a drink in their hand, you need to do 10 star jumps. Write these rules down on a piece of paper so you can quickly reference it. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can build up your fitness, simply by playing this game on a regular basis. Note: This game won’t be very effective if you choose a word or action that would rarely occur. The more often the action, the fitter you’ll get!!

So, what exercises can I do?

Having an exercise bike, treadmill or cross trainer in your living room is a convenient way to exercise in front of the screen. You can really build up a sweat in a short timeframe. If you don’t own one of these machines, there are a bunch of other options for you to burn calories, build muscle and tone up those problem areas whilst watching TV. Some of these include squats, lunges, leg lifts, chair squats, star jumps, using resistance bands, step ups, bicep curls, calf raises, overhead triceps, bridges, plank and jogging on the spot. For a gentler workout, you can practice yoga, Pilates and tai chi in your living room to both tone and relax you. Exercise balls are also a good option as they are relatively cheap, don’t take up much room and there are many different exercises you can do with them.

You really can burn calories whilst watching TV! It’s a good idea to support your new workout regime with protein to build muscle, and magnesium and glutamine to assist with muscle recovery.

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